Elance / Unauthorized charges
I wish I had seen all the reports on here and on all these other websites talking about the Elance escrow scam.
Figure I might as well warn people with my example. I see people have posted reports on here already. My story is pretty much the same.
I put a job out on Elance for workers to bid on. I awarded the job to someone I thought was a good bet. They had good feedback, had 4 of what Elance calls 'verified' credentials, and had good test scores.
Well it was horrible. I notice on one test score they scored top 5% on English Spelling and also on vocabulary. Well, their bid was perfect English. After I gave them the job you could barely understand what they were saying.
I put the $750 project cost into Elance Escrow because it said I would be protected.
The provider was horrible. They couldn't follow the project details or even simple instructions. They drug the whole thing out for like 3 weeks before they finally just said they didn't have the expertise to do it.
So it takes me a week and a half to get ahold of Elance before they tell me I have to download this huge word document and fill it in and upload it to the system. Then the worker is supposed to fill out his portion and upload it.
So I do my part. A few days later the worker does his part and he says the same thing I do in the file - agree to refund the escrow money.
After waiting about a week I start calling Elance wondering where my money is. I called for 4 days straight. One day I think I called 14 or 15 times. They never answer and never return my messages. They finally sent me an automated reply to one of my emails about a week or so after I sent it to them.
I was originally told that if the worker agreed to a refund in his report that I would be refunded immediately.
That was now 41 days ago. The money is still in Elance escrow and I have had to file a report with my credit card company for fraud.
And this is the kicker (why I say they lie). I was able to check on 2 of the references he had that Elance said were VERIFIED. They had never heard of the worker.
I've never had this kind of problem with places like Odesk or rentacoder. Problems with a project every now and then but never the company ignoring emails and stealing escrow money.
Wish I had done some research on Elance and their scam before trying them out.
But if one buyer saves himself from being a victim of the Elance scam then I guess this post is worth it.